Texas Beetle Information

Return to Texas Entomology - Compiled by Mike Quinn

Dogbane Leaf Beetle

Chrysochus auratus (Fabricius)

Family Chrysomelidae, Subfamily Eumolpinae, Tribe Eumolpini

cf: C. cobaltinus


nr. Chicago, IL, 2005 (Bruce Marlin)

Texas County Records for Chrysochus auratus

County Record Data from E.G. Riley, Dec. 2005

State Records for Chrysochus auratus

Data from Riley et al. 2003

Larval Hosts

C. auratus normally feeds on plants in the Dogbane family Apocynaceae, including Apocynum cannabinum and Apocynum androsaemifolium, but also reported in association with common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) (Clark et al. 2004)

Biology: Larvae are obligate root feeders, and adults eat the leaves of larval host plants. 

Similar Species: This genus includes 19 species and is Holarctic in distribution (Arnett et al. 2002)

North American Taxa:

Chrysochus auratus (Fabricius) - Throughout the eastern North America, west to the Rocky Mountains
Chrysochus cobaltinus LeConte - High Plains west to California and British Columbia

Photos: Dogbane Beetle - Chrysochus auratus - Matthew Roth

Misc: Was featured on a U.S. stamp in October 1999, drawn by Steve Buchanan

Etymology: aur, -ar, -at, -e, -i (L). Gold, golden 

Biography: Johan Christian Fabricius (1745-1808) - Wikipedia


Arnett, R.H., Jr., M.C. Thomas, P.E. Skelley & J.H. Frank. (editors). 2002. American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea. CRC Press. 861 pp.

Borror, D.J. 1960. Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms. National Press Books, Palo Alto. v + 134 pp.

Clark, S.M., D.G. LeDoux, T.N. Seeno, E.G. Riley, A.J. Gilbert & J.M. Sullivan. 2004. Host plants of leaf beetle species occurring in the United States and Canada (Coleoptera: Megalopodidae, Orsodacnidae, Chrysomelidae exclusive of Bruchinae). Coleopterists Society, Special Publication no. 2, 476 pp.

Dickinson, J.L. 1995. Trade-offs between postcopulatory riding and mate location in the blue milkweed beetle. Behav. Ecol. 6: 280286.

Peterson, A. 1951. Larvae of Insects: Part II, Coleoptera, Diptera, Neuroptera, Siphonaptera, Mecoptera, Trichoptera. Edwards Bros., Inc., Ann Arbor. 416 pp.

Peterson, M.A., S. Dobler, J. Holland, L. Tantalo, & S. Locke. 2001. Behavioral, Molecular, and Morphological Evidence for a Hybrid Zone Between Chrysochus auratus and C. cobaltinus (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 94(1): 1-9 Full Text

Riley, E.G., S.M. Clark, & T.N. Seeno. 2003. Catalog of the leaf beetles of America north of Mexico (Coleoptera: Megalopodidae, Orsodacnidae and Chrysomelidae, excluding Bruchinae). Coleopterists Society, Special Publication no. 1, 290 pp.

Weiss, H.B., & E. West. 1921. Notes on insects of the spreading dogbane, Apocynum androsaemifolium L., with a description of a new dogbane midge by Dr E. P. Felt. Canadian Entomologist, 53: 146-152.

Williams, C.E. 1991. Host plant latex and the feeding behavior of Chrysochus auratus (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Coleopt. Bull. 45: 195196. 

Williams, C.E. 1992. Movement of the dogbane beetle, Chrysochus auratus (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in a patchy environment. Banisteria 1: 810.

02 Mar 2007   Mike Quinn / mike.quinn@tpwd.state.tx.us / Texas Entomology / Texas Beetle Information